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Justice and power relations in urban greening: can Lisbon’s urban greening strategies lead to more environmental justice?

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Abstract

As urban greening has become a prevalent tool in the context of global climate governance, this paper examines Lisbon’s greening strategies in the context of its election as European Green Capital 2020. While applying an analytical framework based on environmental justice, we perform a cross-analysis of the city-wide greening strategies, together with a peculiar and unusual planning process for a new green space in the neighbourhood of Marvila. Based on qualitative research carried out in-situ, we argue that Lisbon’s greening strategies are based on a discourse of ecological benefits, without aiming to ensure access to green space for different population groups. Procedural justice concerns are widely undervalued, resulting in limited space available for community involvement. We show how urban greening is essentially a multiscalar exercise, impacted by and affecting multiple scales simultaneously. Hence procedural justice deserves a much more prominent role in urban greening, as participation and recognition can give local communities the opportunity to adapt global urban agendas toward their particular needs and desires. Our findings lead us to conclude that environmental justice is ultimately an exercise of multiscalar governance, where local decision-making needs to attend to contextual challenges but also to a long-term sustainability vision at a larger scale.

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... Procedural justice is fundamentally related to how the participation of various actors involved in GI or NbS projects is structured and conducted with the aim of producing spaces that meet the needs of communities effectively in a fair way (Haase et al., 2017;Amorim et al., 2020). Top-down GI or NbS projects, with limited involvement of diverse actors (mainly excluding disadvantaged communities) , are widely recognized as directing the urban green agenda to the most privileged social groups (Toxopeus et al., 2020;Verheij and Nunes, 2020), thereby producing unequal distribution of environmental improvements within cities (Venter et al., 2020). However, participation alone does not guarantee desired procedural fairness (Woroniecki et al., 2020). ...
... However, participation alone does not guarantee desired procedural fairness (Woroniecki et al., 2020). The research in the Global North highlights the effects of power structures on the definition of who is included or not in participatory processes (Miller, 2016;Verheij and Nunes, 2020) or what discourses are most/least endorsed and accounted for in participation (Safransky, 2014;Woroniecki et al., 2020). These papers emphasize the need to hold a critical perspective on how dialog is implemented, facilitated, and delivered within participatory processes to effectively include the various ontologies and epistemologies of different participants (Woroniecki et al., 2020;e.g., Verheij and Nunes, 2020). ...
... The selected articles focusing on distributive justice mainly address, in both the Global North and South, issues regarding whether GI is prioritized in areas inhabited by disadvantaged communities and the extent to which GI projects tend to be concentrated in wealthier areas (Venter et al., 2020;Verheij and Nunes, 2020). This aspect also encompasses methodological approaches to address this problem, such as indexes to identify sites with greater demand for green amenities (Zhu et al., 2019;Liotta et al., 2020). ...
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... Within the city hall, PED projects need to be embedded at operational, tactical and strategic levels, and backed by administrative assurance. Confidence should be created within the citizen community that PED projects are not just technology-driven prestige projects but can really help to create value for citizens, such as through neighbourhood upgrades and cleaner air, while avoiding the reproduction of existing urban disparities [21]. Concepts and methods like the participation ladder [22], open government platforms like WeLive [23], and citizen labs offer several pertinent insights on citizen involvement. ...
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... Peu de travaux ont réfléchi au processus de gentrification environnementale à l'échelle d'une ville entière, comme à Atlanta (Immergluck, 2009), Vancouver (Quastel, 2009), New-York (Pearsall, 2010), Barcelone (Anguelovski et al., 2018) ou Lisbonne (Verheij & Nunes, 2020). Pourtant l'analyse à l'échelle de la ville est importante pour savoir si des villes qui ont largement adopté une stratégie de renaturation urbaine deviennent plus ou moins justes. ...
Thesis
Les programmes municipaux de végétalisation participative se multiplient au sein des villes. Ils permettent aux habitants de végétaliser l’espace public, avec des jardins partagés ou des opérations de rue (jardinage de pied d’arbre, fosse dans les trottoirs, bac de culture, etc.). L’objectif de cette thèse est d’étudier ces dispositifs dans trois contextes urbains français différents, Lille, Lyon et le treizième arrondissement de Paris. Une méthode mixte croisant enquête quantitative et enquête qualitative est utilisée. Cette thèse conduit à plusieurs résultats. D’abord, la mise en place de dispositifs de végétalisation participative s’est faite à partir d’initiatives habitantes informelles, peu à peu institutionnalisées par les municipalités depuis la fin des années 1990. Ensuite, l’élaboration de ces politiques a contribué à la création d’un nouveau modèle de gouvernance, pour la co-construction d’un aménagement urbain, entre habitants et municipalité. Cependant, la participation des habitants à la végétalisation de la ville reproduit les inégalités urbaines préexistantes. Ces initiatives sont diversement réparties sur les territoires urbains et se concentrent en particulier dans les quartiers au niveau de vie moyen voire aisé. Les pratiques de jardinage des habitants prennent également part à ces inégalités en mettant en avant des normes environnementales qui peuvent se révéler discriminantes. Enfin, la végétalisation participative montre un potentiel variable dans sa contribution à la renaturation de l’espace urbain. Elle concourt à la végétalisation d’espaces publics de proximité. Toutefois, l’engagement des habitants dans le temps long reste une limite du dispositif.
... The implementation of such measures at a local level will increase worldwide exposure to natural environments, directly placating environmental justice issues across a variety of populations. 1,6 Interaction with nature has widely been associated with greater levels of (mental and physical) health and wellbeing. 3,7−9 Several pathways via which nature settings may be linked to better physical and/or mental health have been proposed. ...
... In Lisbon, the project detailed the socio-spatial transformations occurring in a specific urban continuum, as deindustrialization has led to the creation of an urban enclave (Nevado 2015, Reis e Silva 2016, Borghi et al. 2018, Gennari 2018, Martins and Mourato 2018, Camara Municipal de Lisboa 2019, Martins 2020, Verheij and Corrêa Nunes 2021. The research area is located between two vibrant urban areas: Parque das Nacoes (also a former industrial area), and the touristified historical city center. ...
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... As residents have a chance to shape the development of their neighbourhood or city, solutions are likely to be more aligned to local needs and aspirations [32], as shown in seminal experiences under the "Global Agenda 21" [19]. In some cases, participatory initiatives create new opportunities for partnerships in the management of specific projects [33][34][35] either led by public agencies or grassroots groups [36,37], and possibly develop into more extensive sustainability programmes [38]. When participation is prompted for the strategic planning of green infrastructures and services [35,39,40], new links can be created among ecological, economic, and societal elements of urban sustainability [41]. ...
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... EJ thus encourages a progress from community-placed to community-based planning (Ziegler et al. 2019). Here, the Berlin Neighbourhood Management Programme holds great potential to enhance EJ through horizontal exchange argued for by Verheij and Corrêa Nunes (2020). Local offices that communicate planning proposals to residents at the same time as forwarding citizens' ideas and wishes to local authorities, serve as a mediator between citizens and local administration. ...
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... On one hand, the current volume provides a diagnosis of the justice implications embedded in recent efforts to renature cities. Urban planning and geography literatures in particular provide compounding evidence supporting the assertion that new green interventions are increasingly taking place in privileged urban areas, with benefits that accrue mostly to the middle and upper classes and ethnically or racially privileged residents, often at the expense of more vulnerable social groups , Cooke, 2020, Verheij & Corrêa Nunes, 2020, Plüschke-Altof & Sooväli-Sepping, 2020, Connolly, Trebic, Anguelovski, & Wood, 2018, Gould & Lewis, 2017, Wolch, Byrne, & Newell, 2014, Hamilton & Curran, 2013, Pearsall, 2010. Placed in the breadth of existing scholarship, this SI aims to explore the type of socioenvironmental contradictions and contestations emerging through the deployment of NBS in a range of geographies. ...
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The world over, public institutions appear to be responding to the calls voiced by activists, development practitioners and progressive thinkers for greater public involvement in making the decisions that matter and holding governments to account for following through on their commitments. Yet what exactly ‘participation’ means to these different actors can vary enormously. This article explores some of the meanings and practices associated with participation, in theory and in practice. It suggests that it is vital to pay closer attention to who is participating, in what and for whose benefit. Vagueness about what participation means may have helped the promise of public involvement gain purchase, but it may be time for more of what Cohen and Uphoff term ‘clarity through specificity’ if the call for more participation is to realize its democratizing promise.
Article
‘Nature-based solutions’ is the new jargon used to promote ideas of urban sustainability, which is gaining traction in both academic and policy circles, especially in the European Union. Through an analysis of the definitions and discourse around nature-based solutions, we discern a number of assumptions stemming from positivist science that are embedded in the term, and which we find create an inviting space for nature’s neoliberalisation processes. We provide empirical analysis of how these assumptions realise in two city-initiated projects in Barcelona, Spain, that have been identified as nature-based solutions: the green corridor of Passeig de Sant Joan and the community garden of Espai Germanetes supported under the municipal Pla Buits scheme. Both projects were born in a neoliberal political climate, but their outcomes in terms of neoliberalism and its contestation were very distinct – not least because of the different forms of governance and socio-natural interaction that these two projects foster. Urban nature can serve elite economic players at the expense of widespread socio-ecological benefits. But it can also serve as a ground for the articulation of demands for open and participatory green spaces that go beyond precarious and controlled stewardship for, or market-mediated interactions with, urban nature. We urge for future research and practice on nature-based solutions to be more critical of the term itself, and to guide its instrumentalisation in urban planning away from neoliberal agendas and towards more emancipatory and just socio-ecological futures.
Article
Increasingly, greening in cities across the Global North is enmeshed in strategies for attracting capital investment, raising the question: for whom is the future green city? Through exploring the relationship between cities’ green boosterist rhetoric, affordability and social equity considerations within greening programmes, this paper examines the extent to which, and why, the degree of green branding – that is, urban green boosterism – predicts the variation in city affordability. We present the results of a mixed methods, macroscale analysis of the greening trajectories of 99 cities in Western Europe, the USA and Canada. Our regression analysis of green rhetoric shows a trend toward higher cost of living among cities with the longest duration and highest intensity green rhetoric. We then use qualitative findings from Nantes, France, and Austin, USA, as two cases to unpack why green boosterism correlates with lower affordability. Key factors determining the relation between urban greening and affordability include the extent of active municipal intervention, redistributional considerations and the historic importance of inclusion and equity in urban development. We conclude by considering what our results mean for the urban greening agenda in the context of an ongoing green growth imperative going forward.
Article
The European Green Capital (EGC) award has become a familiar feature in a polycentric sustainability governance landscape increasingly characterized by fragmentation and voluntary initiatives. Unclear accountability for translocal connections renders these initiatives at risk of locking unsustainable practices into transitions. Seeking clarity, this paper examines accountability through the lenses of material dislocation and discursive construction in an assessment of Oslo’s (2019) and Lisbon’s (2020) winning EGC entries. How can the EGC distinction better enable substantive urban sustainability, situating claims within wider energy transitions in these capital regions? Within the award’s circumscribed focus on urban centres, do cities account for cognitive and material dislocation through their discursive emphases and telecoupling respectively? Does the EGC catalyse change, brand the capture of low-hanging fruit, or spatially dislocate rather than reduce emissions? We argue that it propagates a focus on optimizing local sustainability effects, while rarely accounting for larger translocal or cross-scalar repercussions. Hence, urban sustainability strategies risk spatially dislocating socio-ecologically unsustainable practices rather than decreasing emissions systemically. Cities need to institute accountability mechanisms that reshape the geographies of responsibility for the systemic and translocal impacts of urban sustainability initiatives, which the EGC could promote by, e.g. including emission indicators for consumption and aviation.
Article
Combined provision of social and ecological functions of urban green spaces (UGSs) can facilitate sustainable development by combating the adverse effects of rapid urban growth. However, barriers and opportunities of such provision need to be better understood so that policy-makers and managers can ensure their benefits are realised. This paper addresses this by investigating user and manager preferences for different types, characteristics, facilities and activities associated with UGSs, and by exploring academic and managerial perceptions about policy and management practices. Empirical evidence from two UK cities – Manchester and Leeds – revealed that the barriers and opportunities to combining social and ecological functions in UGSs were linked to user demand; knowledge and understanding about UGS functions; and budget/funding. The research also indicated that addressing these issues would require the active promotion of a number of key priority areas. These included enhancing awareness and knowledge amongst both users and managers, the development of management guidelines linked to combining functions, and better use of context specific measures grounded in innovative techniques.
Article
In an increasingly urbanized world, urban green spaces (UGS) are critical for ensuring residents’ health and well-being, due to the ecosystem services provided. Urban planning is being instigated to maximize the potential of UGS to increase responsiveness to major societal and environmental challenges and emerging policy demands. While city-wide perspectives can guide the cities’ governance approach, a more local approach is required to optimize local planning and management of UGS. In this paper we aim to identify the spatial patterns of UGS uses in Lisbon city, Portugal. Specifically, we ask if urban residents have equal accessibility to UGS within their residential zip area and what are the key factors related to residents’ decisions to visit UGS within or outside their zip. We used a Public Participation GIS to collect spatially explicit data about residents most frequented UGS. The survey was directed to respondents from different socio-demographic classes and areas of residence, by using different on-line communication channels, and conducted between February and April 2017. We collected data from 569 respondents, which corresponded to 2010 UGS locations. Our results show that resident's do not have equitable accessibility to UGS, caused by the uneven distribution of green spaces within the city. We also found that the number of residents traveling for UGS outside their zip area (outflux) was significantly related to the green space coverage and vegetation heterogeneity in their own zip area. We found no significant relation between resident's outflux and their sociodemographic characteristics. Our regression model determines that to have less than 50% of outflux Mediterranean cities need to have at least 25% of green space in a zip area. These results can support planners and decision-makers by providing guidance on how to identify areas of unequal accessibility and where to allocate efforts.
Article
Scholars in urban political ecology, urban geography, and planning have suggested that urban greening interventions can create elite enclaves of environmental privilege and green gentrification, and exclude lower-income and minority residents from their benefits. Yet, much remains to be understood in regard to the magnitude, scope, and manifestations of green gentrification and the forms of contestation and resistance articulated against it. In this paper, we propose new questions, theoretical approaches, and research design approaches to examine the socio-spatial dynamics and ramifications of green gentrification and parse out why, how, where, and when green gentrification takes place.
Article
This research examines the distributional equity of urban vegetation in 10 US urbanized areas using very high resolution land cover data and census data. Urban vegetation is characterized three ways in the analysis (mixed vegetation, woody vegetation, and public parks), to reflect the variable ecosystem services provided by different types of urban vegetation. Data are analyzed at the block group and census tract levels using Spearman's correlations and spatial autoregressive models. There is a strong positive correlation between urban vegetation and higher education and income across most cities. Negative correlations between racialized minority status and urban vegetation are observed but are weaker and less common in multivariate analyses that include additional variables such as education, income, and population density. Park area is more equitably distributed than mixed and woody vegetation, although inequities exist across all cities and vegetation types. The study finds that education and income are most strongly associated with urban vegetation distribution but that various other factors contribute to patterns of urban vegetation distribution, with specific patterns of inequity varying by local context. These results highlight the importance of different urban vegetation measures and suggest potential solutions to the problem of urban green inequity. Cities can use our results to inform decision making focused on improving environmental justice in urban settings. Full text available here: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1XpvAcUG5AoX~
Article
The main goal of this article is to identify and classify institutional barriers which prevent the use of urban green spaces (UGS) at three levels: availability (whether a UGS exists), accessibility (whether it is physically and psychologically accessible, e.g., not fenced off), and attractiveness (whether it is attractive enough for potential users to visit). We reviewed the impacts on UGS provision exerted by different actors (individuals, formal and informal groups, community councils, city authorities, national governmental and non-governmental organizations), along with the relevant institutional foundations of those impacts. As a result, we identified and classified the different barriers for which these actors are responsible in the case of fifteen UGS types in our case study city, Lodz (Łódź) in Poland. The main barriers at different levels concern conflicting interests, physical barriers (private green spaces), and the lack of funds, together with legal and governmental failures (public green spaces). These barriers result from the different actors’ mandates or lack thereof. Our analysis has implications for the operationalization of UGS availability, accessibility and attractiveness, and, in particular, for mapping UGS and setting the relevant indicators and thresholds for UGS availability, accessibility and attractiveness.
Article
Cities are increasingly central to the global governance of climate change, and much of their activity takes place within city‐networks operating at national, regional, and global scales. As the scope and ambition of city activities have been augmented over the past decade, so the scholarship has evolved as well. I set out in this review article to trace this evolution by focusing on four lines of inquiry organized around the conceptual foundations of governance experimentation, horizontal coordination, vertical integration, and political contestation. As we stand at the cusp of a vital moment in the global response, I suggest the need for a concerted effort to direct more, and more sustained, attention to the last of these. I argue that careful, critical, and creative thinking with respect to the power relations shaping the role of cities as global climate governors offers a means through which scholars can best contribute to augmenting the capacity for a just and effective urban contribution to the global effort. This article is categorized under: • Policy and Governance > Governing Climate Change in Communities, Cities, and Regions
Article
Sustainable urban development is widely conceptualized as resulting from a balance of economic, environmental, and social equity concerns. Yet, critics argue that social equity is routinely left out in development practice. Aiming to help identify solutions that can address this problem, this paper examines sustainable development projects that have managed to incorporate social equity in substantive ways into development practice. Drawing on case study research of nine neighborhood-scale development projects distributed across three metropolitan areas in the United States – Austin, Denver, and Minneapolis-St. Paul – this article examines the contexts and processes that enable the incorporation of social equity into sustainable development practice. Using data from intensive interviews with actors that shaped the development of mixed-use and transit-oriented neighborhoods designed according to the New Urbanism planning movement, the article investigates three storylines that illustrate different ways that social equity concerns are left out, marginalized, or integrated into development practice. Comparison of the processes driving each storyline shows that integrating social equity in sustainable development can succeed when there is an institutional effort to champion social equity and where that effort brings patient capital and provides conceptual resources that help link social equity to concerns of livability.
Article
This article evaluates the relationship between sustainability plan implementation and public participation after plan adoption via citizen advisory committees (CACs). The study analyzes in-depth interviews with sustainability planners¹ in 36 medium and large U.S. cities and urban counties to test whether public participation supports planning implementation. I delineate the common implementation challenges across 36 communities, analyze CAC roles after plan adoption in 25 communities that choose to form an implementation CAC, and assess why variation exists in these groups’ roles and impacts. Findings suggest citizen advisory committees bolster planners’ efforts to move past implementation barriers, affirming the theoretical belief that public participation supports implementation. Additionally, the study provides insight into how sustainability planners facilitate and encourage the CACs impact on implementation or stifle this latent capacity.
Article
Significant advances have been made in identifying, quantifying and valuing multiple urban ecosystem services (UES), yet this knowledge remains poorly implemented in urban planning and management. One of the reasons for this low implementation is the insufficient thematic and spatial detail in UES research to provide guidance for urban planners and managers. Acknowledging how patterns of UES delivery are related with vegetation structure and composition in urban green areas could help these stakeholders to target structural variables that increase UES provision. This investigation explored how different types of urban green spaces influence UES delivery in Porto, a Portuguese city, and how this variation is affected by a socioeconomic gradient. A stepwise approach was developed using two stratification schemes and a modelling tool to estimate urban forest structure and UES provision. This approach mapped explicit cold and hotspots of UES provision and discriminated the urban forest structural variables that influence UES at the local scale. Results revealed that different types of green spaces affect UES delivery as a direct result of the influence of structural variables of the urban forest. Furthermore, the uneven distribution of green spaces types across socioeconomic strata alters UES delivery across the city. This case study illustrates how a methodology adaptable to other geographic contexts can be used to map and analyze coupled social and ecological patterns, offering novel insights that are simple to understand and apply by urban planners and managers.
Article
As the need to address climate change is ever more urgent, many have emphasised the importance of community-level responses. The Transition movement has advanced community-based action to increase resilience for over a decade and has expanded significantly. Thus, it is a critical setting for examining community engagement towards climate change in practice. Our study is based on 39 interviews with facilitators of Transition initiatives in Portugal, coupled with observational data, and is guided by two main research questions: how do Transition initiatives promote community engagement at the local level? What are the factors constraining or facilitating community engagement within Portuguese Transition initiatives? We identify several aspects of Transition’s constructions of community resilience and engagement that indicate ambivalence towards, or avoidance of, certain issues. They relate do agency, structure, power and inclusion, as well as to the modes of engagement and the communication practices of Transition initiatives. We argue that strategies for community engagement should be specific to social contexts rather than internationally uniform and be based on participatory approaches. Drawing on an extensive empirical analysis, the article contributes to theory building on the Transition movement beyond the Anglo-Saxon context and to the wider field of community-based environment initiatives. http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/vbgayUh2rYeYWa4pKAYf/full
Article
Reflecting problems that have been raising more broadly the questioning and reinvention of representative democracies, urban governance management is facing a number of dilemmas to wich the manipulation of technical knowledge cannot respond, and given rise to growing movements around more participated democratic models. The article discusses the models of contemporary governance of cities and problematizes its essential dimensions, including power relations, the strghtening of social, civic and political participation, urban development and distribution of resources
Article
Greening cities, namely installing new parks, rooftop gardens or planting trees along the streets, undoubtedly contributes to an increase in wellbeing and enhances the attractiveness of open spaces in cities. At the same time, we observe an increasing use of greening strategies as ingredients of urban renewal, upgrading and urban revitalization as primarily market-driven endeavours targeting middle class and higher income groups sometimes at the expense of less privileged residents. This paper reflects on the current debate of the social effects of greening using selected examples. We discuss what trade-offs between social and ecological developments in cities mean for the future debate on greening cities and a socially balanced and inclusive way of developing our cities for various groups of urban dwellers. We conclude that current and future functions and features of greening cities have to be discussed more critically including a greater awareness of social impacts.
Article
Sustainable Stockholm provides a historical overview of Stockholm's environmental development, and also discusses a number of cross-disciplinary themes presenting the urban sustainability work behi ...
Article
Background: Urban populations are highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of heat, with heat-related mortality showing intra-urban variations that are likely due to differences in urban characteristics and socioeconomic status. Objectives: To investigate the influence of urban green and urban blue, i.e., urban vegetation and water bodies, on heat-related excess mortality in the elderly above 65 years in Lisbon, Portugal between 1998 and 2008. Methods: We used remotely sensed data and geographic information to determine the amount of urban vegetation and the distance to water bodies (the Atlantic Ocean and the Tagus estuary). Poisson Generalized Additive Models were fitted, allowing for the interaction between equivalent temperature [Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI)] and quartiles of urban greenness [classified using the Normalized Differenced Vegetation Index (NDVI)] and proximity to water (≤ 4 km versus > 4 km), while adjusting for potential confounders. Results: The association between mortality and a 1°C in UTCI above the 99th percentile (24.8°C) was stronger for areas in the lowest NDVI quartile (14.7% higher; 95% CI: 1.9, 17.5%) than areas in the highest quartile (3.0%; 95% CI: 2.0, 4.0%). In areas > 4km from water, a 1°C in UTCI above the 99th percentile was associated with a 7.1% increase in mortality (95% CI: 6.2, 8.1%), whereas in areas ≤ 4 km from water, the estimated increase in mortality was only 2.1% (95% CI: 1.2, 3.0%). Conclusions: Urban green and blue appeared to have a mitigating effect on heat-related mortality in the elderly population in Lisbon. Increasing the amount of vegetation may be a good strategy to counteract the adverse effects of heat in urban areas. Our findings also suggest potential benefits of urban blue that may be present several kilometers from a body of water.
Article
This study develops the notion of "policy boosterism," a subset of traditional branding and marketing activities that involves the active promotion of locally developed and/or locally successful policies, programs, or practices across wider geographical fields as well as to broader communities of interested peers. It is argued that policy boosterism is (1) an important element of how urban policy actors engage with global communities of professional peers and with local residents, and (2) a useful concept with which to interrogate and understand how policies and policy knowledge are mobilized among cities. A conceptualization of policy boosterism and its role in global-urban policymaking is developed by combining insights from the burgeoning " policy mobilities" literature with those of the longstanding literature on entrepreneurial city marketing. It is supported by illustrative examples of policy boosterism in Vancouver: the city's Greenest City and Green Capital initiatives, the use of the term " Vancouverism" among the city's urban design community, and demonstrations of new urban technologies during the 2010 Winter Olympics that were used to market a particular vision of the city's governance to people from elsewhere, but also-crucially-to local audiences. The article concludes by highlighting four foci that might frame future work at the intersections of policy boosterism and policy mobilities.
Article
Issues of space, place and politics run deep. There is a long history of the entanglement of the conceptualisation of space and place with the framing of political positions. The injunction to think space relationally is a very general one and, as this collection indicates, can lead in many directions. The particular avenue to be explored in this paper concerns the relationship between identity and responsibility, and the potential geographies of both.
Article
This essay examines the intersection of environmental justice activism and state‐sponsored sustainable urban development—how is environmental justice activism enabled or disabled in the context of rapid urban development, consensual politics and the seemingly a‐political language of sustainability? Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, I define a process I refer to as “environmental gentrification,” which builds on the material and discursive successes of the environmental justice movement and appropriates them to serve high‐end development. While it appears as politically‐neutral, consensus‐based planning that is both ecologically and socially sensitive, in practice, environmental gentrification subordinates equity to profit‐minded development. I propose that this process offers a new way of exploring the paradoxes and conundrums facing contemporary urban residents as they fight to challenge the vast economic and ecological disparities that increasingly divide today's cities.
Article
Urban green spaces (UGS) have been shown to provide a number of environmental and social benefits relevant for a higher quality of life of residents. However, population growth in cities combined with urban planning policies of (re)densification can drive the conversion of UGS into residential land. This development might result in an unequal distribution of UGS in a city. We present an analysis of UGS provisioning in Berlin, Germany in order to identify distributional inequities between UGS and population which are further discussed in light of variations in user preferences associated with demographics and immigrant status. Publicly available land use and sociodemographic data at sub-district level are applied in a GIS, dissimilarity index and cluster analysis approach. Results show that although most areas are supplied with more UGS compared to the per capita target value of 6 m2, there is considerable dissimilarity by immigrant status and age. To address rising concerns about socio-environmental justice in cities and to evaluate the (dis)advantages of applying UGS threshold values for urban planning, visitor profiles and preferences of a site-specific case, the park and former city airport Berlin-Tempelhof are analyzed. Results from questionnaire surveys indicate that the identified dissimilarities on sub-district level are not the same as socio-environmental injustice in Tempelhof, but point to a mismatch of UGS and user preferences. In addition to evaluating UGS distribution, the match between quality of a park and specific cultural and age dependent user needs should be considered for successful green infrastructure planning rather than focusing on target values.
Article
This two-part paper draws upon different scholarly traditions to highlight the key tensions at the heart of the contemporary public space debate. Critiques of public space can broadly be placed into two camps, those who argue that public space is over-managed, and those who argue that it is under-managed. This over-simplifies a complex discourse on public space that this paper aims to unpack, but nevertheless provides a useful lens through which to view the critiques. In fact there are a series of discrete but related critiques of the contemporary public space situation, and it is these that the first part of this paper identifies and organizes. In so doing it also reveals a range of public space types that are used in the second part of the paper to suggest a new typology of public space.
Article
Many cities' municipal governments have made some version of “sustainability” an explicit policy goal over the past two decades. Previous research has documented how the operationalisation and conceptualisation of sustainability in urban sustainability plans vary greatly among cities, particularly with respect to environmental justice. This article reports on whether and how large American cities incorporate environmental justice into their urban sustainability indicator projects. Our findings suggest that while there has been an increase in the number of cities incorporating environmental justice elements into sustainability plans since the early 2000s, their conceptualizations and implementations of sustainability remain highly constrained. The paucity of evaluative tools suggests that environmental justice efforts are potentially losing traction in public debate over macro-scale sustainability concerns (e.g. climate change) or the need for regionally competitive environmental amenities (e.g. parks). This paper concludes with suggestions for revising existing sustainability plans to better reflect environmental justice concerns.
Article
The literature that explores relationships between lay and professional stakeholders in community participation generally suggests that professionals perceive five main difficulties in working with lay people: it is unnecessary within democracies; lay people lack expertise; they are not representative; there is commonly a lack of trust, and decision-making is made more complex. In respect of spatial planning in South West England, from survey evidence these difficulties are not so apparent except in respect of complex decision-making. It is likely that the variation between the literature and the survey is influenced by the longer heritage of community participation in the spatial planning process in England, than in most other local authority services.
Article
 The objective of this article is to explore some of the reasons for the growing number of participatory arrangements at the local level. An approach in terms of governance allows us to examine the underlying patterns of logic that induce public authorities to develop new policy tools such as participatory arrangements. Our study focuses on a medium-sized French city, Bordeaux, where eight types of relatively weak participatory arrangements have been implemented since 1995. The article shows that the French government and European Union have fostered this type of arrangement through a complex series of public programs and policies with the aim of rebuilding their political legitimacy by encouraging participation at the municipal level. This approach is relevant to understanding the origin of the reforms affecting local governments over the past decade.
Article
  Over the last decade the scope of the socio-environmental concerns included within an environmental justice framing has broadened and theoretical understandings of what defines and constitutes environmental injustice have diversified. This paper argues that this substantive and theoretical pluralism has implications for geographical inquiry and analysis, meaning that multiple forms of spatiality are entering our understanding of what it is that substantiates claims of environmental injustice in different contexts. In this light the simple geographies and spatial forms evident in much “first-generation” environmental justice research are proving insufficient. Instead a richer, multidimensional understanding of the different ways in which environmental justice and space are co-constituted is needed. This argument is developed by analysing a diversity of examples of socio-environmental concerns within a framework of three different notions of justice—as distribution, recognition and procedure. Implications for the strategies of environmental justice activism for the globalisation of the environmental justice frame and for future geographical research are considered.
Just Sustainabilities -Development in an Unequal World
  • Julian Agyeman
  • Robert Doyle Bullard
  • Bob Evans
Agyeman, Julian, Robert Doyle Bullard, and Bob Evans. 2003. Just Sustainabilities -Development in an Unequal World. London: Earthscan.
Modification of Heat-Related Mortality in an Elderly Urban Population by Vegetation (Urban Green) and Proximity to Water
  • Katrin Burkart
  • Fred Meier
  • Alexandra Schneider
  • Susanne Breitner
  • Paulo Canário
  • Maria João Alcoforado
Burkart, Katrin, Fred Meier, Alexandra Schneider, Susanne Breitner, Paulo Canário, and Maria João Alcoforado. 2016. "Modification of Heat-Related Mortality in an Elderly Urban Population by Vegetation (Urban Green) and Proximity to Water (Urban Blue): Evidence from Lisbon, Portugal." Environmental Health Perspectives 124 (7): 927-934. doi:10. 1037/0022-3514.87.3.293.
Lisbon 2020 Application
CML (Câmara Municipal de Lisboa). 2017a. "Lisbon 2020 Application". European Commission. Available at: http://ec. europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/winningcities/2020-lisbon/15210-2/.